Posted by: crudbasher | April 26, 2011

Ultrasharp 3-D Maps – Technology Review


    I have been keeping my eye on 3d graphics technology. Mobile devices like iPhones are rapidly advancing in how much 3d graphics they can generate. The iPad 2 has a jump in performance of 9 times over the first iPad. That’s a significant amount of processing power. In order to be able to really take advantage of that though, you have to have the 3d models themselves. From video games to augmented reality, the ability to create accurate 3d models and lots of them is a pressing need.

    This company has developed a refined version of a technique which has been around for a while. By using images taken of a city from different angles, a computer can process the photos and extrapolate what the object shape was originally. Then it can generate a 3d model of the original objects. The only way we are going to be able to get large scale models of cities and countries is automatically like this. You can’t build them all by hand like they do in a lot of video games.

    How this applies to Education is simple: Virtual Field Trips. If the model is accurate enough, you can explore it from your classroom. It will bring a digital version of the world into your hands. That’s very cool. The technology exists now and will be widespread very soon. Awesome!


  • Better image based model generation

    tags: 3d model technology augmented reality

    • Technology originally developed to help missiles home in on targets has been adapted to create 3-D color models of cityscapes that capture the shapes of buildings to a resolution of 15 centimeters or less. Image-processing software distills the models from aerial photos captured by custom packages of multiple cameras.

    • The developer is C3 Technologies, a spinoff from Swedish aerospace company Saab. C3 is building a store of eye-popping 3-D models of major cities to license to others for mapping and other applications. The first customer to go public with an application is Nokia, which used the models for 20 U.S. and European cities for an upgraded version of its Ovi online and mobile mapping service released last week.

    • Although Google Earth shows photorealistic buildings in 3-D for many cities, many are assembled by hand, often by volunteers, using a combination of photos and other data in Google’s SketchUp 3-D drawing program.

    • Images of cities captured by C3 do appear richer than those in Google Earth, and Smith says the models will make mapping apps more functional as well as better-looking.

    • Smith says that augmented-reality apps allowing a phone or tablet to blend the virtual and real worlds are another potential use. "We can help pin down real-world imagery very accurately to solve the positioning problem," he says. However, the accuracy of cell phones’ positioning systems will first have to catch up with that of C3’s maps. Cell phones using GPS can typically locate themselves to within tens of meters, not tens of centimeters.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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